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Activities regarding UBL at ECOM in Japan

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  1. Activities regarding UBL at ECOM in Japan May 10, 2004 Yukinori Saito Vice Chair of OASIS UBL JPLSC Fuji Electric Information Service Co., Ltd.

  2. Activities done in fiscal 2003 at ECOM. Standard business documents conversion method research ad-hoc TF • Research of development methods of Standard Business Documents. • Development methods of standard business documents. • Recommendable standard business documents between industries. • Recommendable methods and software products to convert standard business documents. • The method of XML-izing and some consideration points. • 2.Case study of business documents conversion system and consideration. • 3.Mapping trial between UBL and Japanese major industry’s business documents. Consideration of UBL gotten by this trial.

  3. Objective of the TF • Background • Many industries develop many standard business documents and are operating them as real business now. • In case some companies have their proprietary business documents, they have to convert the business documents to do business in the industry. • In case to do business with any other industry, many companies under the industry have to convert the business documents to the other business documents to keep interoperability. This is a very big issue with which many industries and companies are faced. • ebXML standard is being developed as an international standard to do e-business. As standards to develop standard business documents, Core Component specification, XML Schema design rules, standardized CC (Core Components) and BIE (Business Information Entities), and maybe ebXML authorized standard business documents are now being developed. • Even though ebXML would develop these standards described above, many industries have needs to convert business documents between the industry's business documents and ebXML authorized standard business documents. • 2. Objective • The objective of the TF is to propose recommendable conversion methods of standard business documents for industries in Japan.

  4. Electronics Mfr A Hospital B Chemical Mfr C RosettaNet HL7 CIDX A’s industry partners B’s industry partners C’s industry partners Objective of the TF is to study how to convert business documents between industries which is recommended application of UBL by UBL TC. Where UBL Can Fit Into Existing XML B2B Reference: UBL: Realizing eBusiness XML (Mark Crawford, XML Europe 2003)

  5. The Reason for us to focus on UBL • The reason for us to focus on UBL • OASIS (the major standard body on XML) is promoting UBL. • UN/CEFACT recognizes and supports UBL. : UN/CEFACT will support only one document-centric approach to XML content and its desire is that UBL will be the foundation for that approach. (August 21, 2003) • UBL is fully based on ebXML CC Technical Specification. :UBL is committed to, and fully conformant with, the ebXML CCTS. (XML Conference 2002) • Observation of UBL for us • UBL is the first major candidate of the next generation international XML standard business document. • UBL is the standard business document that is used on the second approach to develop business document, which is described on the following page 8.

  6. UBL Position among International standards for e Business Red Characters: means XML based Standard.  *: indicates that specifications of other standard are applied. ( ): means future plan.

  7. Typical B2B Standards in Industries Red Characters: means XML based Standard.  *: indicates that specifications of other standard are applied. ( ): means future plan.

  8. Two approaches to develop business documents. • All Industries and companies recognize that next generation EDI standard business documents are XML based. • The next issue is how to develop or introduce XML-based standard business documents, and what are they. • Newly design and develop standard business document including BIEs based on ebXML methodologies. • This approach requires much resources (e.g. Man power, money, time). • The big industries are maybe able to do this approach. e.g. Japan Electronics & Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA). • To introduce or reuse some major XML-based business documents. • This approach requires less resources. • This approach may be recommendable one for medium or small industries or companies. • The next issue for this approach is conversion method of business documents.

  9. Research of development methods of standard business documents • Questions • Development method of standard business document. Which one is desirable among followings? • Newly design and develop standard business document based on ebXML methodology. • Reuse the previous or current standard business documents of XML syntax. • Use the previous or current standard business documents (not XML) as it is. • (2) Standard business documents between industries. • How to chose the interoperable business documents? • What are the recommendable international standard business documents? • (3) Recommendable methods and software products to convert business documents. • (4) The method of XML-izing and some consideration points. • Reply companies • Propylon, Ireland - Inforteria, Japan • CECID, Hong Kong - NTT, Japan • DagangNet, Malaysia - IT vendor (Anonymous)

  10. Answers to the development method of standard business document. • Propylon, Ireland • Newly design and development standard business document based on ebXML methodology is difficult because achieving industry wide consensus for a single XML format based on the ebXML methodology can take a very long time. • Reuse the current XML based standard business document seems to be the most sensible. • CECID, Hong Kong • We recommends the use of XML to replace the proprietary format. • When there is a suitable XML application standard (e.g. XBRL) for a specific business area, we will use that standard. • When there is no suitable XML application standard, we have to design our own. We recommend the use of CCTS /UBL methodology to model the data elements and design the XML Schema.

  11. Answers to the recommendable standard business document. • Propylon, Ireland • We would suggest that for basic documents (like invoices) between industries, the best route would be take a UBL document, because it is much more specific than other meta-models. • UBL is based on actual business documents including good examples and overviews. • CECID, Hong Kong • We will consider to use the standard with more dominant, popular, and horizontal application first. Then we will consider to use an industry-specific standard, if the horizontal standard is not applicable. • UBL V1.0 was released on Nov. 26, 2003, therefore we think UBL became mature, we will choose UBL. • Infoteria, Japan • At first, we should evaluate UBL specifications. If applicable, we had better select UBL and use UBL as an original specification.

  12. Answers to the recommendable method and software products to convert standard business document. • Propylon, Ireland • We would obviously recommend PropelX, our implementation of the Xpipe transformation methodology. PropelX currently offers the simplest most powerful and most flexible XML translation capabilities. • XML style sheet are not easily understood or modified. • CECID, Hong Kong • For simple translation, we use XSLT. But usually XSLT is not powerful enough to do the conversion from one standard to another, which is usually very difficult. • We write customized programs to do the conversion. • NTT, Japan • Using some commercial translators is recommendable to convert business document.

  13. The method of XML-izing for BIEs. • Trends or current situation in Japanese industries. • The naming methods of XML Tag name in Japan. • Using Japanese language as it is. e.g. Paint industry, ApparelArk (Chemical) • Using BIE’s item number (Alphanumeric character). e.g. ECALGA (JEITA) • Use English name. e.g. RosettaNet, Aerospace industry • (2) Many industries are intending to design English XML Tag names. • Consideration • English XML Tag name is desirable by consideration of implementation. • Japanese Tag name requires large burden for implementers. Because some tools for editing XML data cannot be used for Japanese Tag names. • The English Tag names is much better to convert to international business document (e.g. UBL). • XML naming rules led by international standard body are based on English. • (2) The Japanese people are not good at English (reading/ writing and conversation). But they can understand the English words. • (3) Of cause, the values between start tag and end tag should be both Alphanumeric characters and Japanese characters.

  14. Case study of conversion system between standard business documents. • Research of conversion systems and needs to conversions between several standard business documents. There are much needs to conversions of standard business documents in real business. • Categories of conversion systems and example systems. • To convert the data in in-house backend system manually. • Electronics industry’s purchasing iron and steel by way of Trading company. • Electronics industry’s purchasing chemical goods by way of Trading comp. • (2) Plural orders are received by different business documents, and they are converted to single business document. 7 cases including followings. • JEMIMA (Japan Electric Measuring Instruments Manufacturer’s Association). • Sales system in Electronics devices supplier. • Next generation EDI system at Chemical industry. • Purchasing system of PC software at Microsoft Japan. • EDI at distribution industry. • (3) To convert one single business document to plural business documents. • Purchasing system of Sony corporation. • (4) To convert business documents using ASP service. • ASP service of Port logistics industry.

  15. Needs at JEMIMA ■Situation and issues: Orders are received from Communication, Automotive, Petro-chemical, and Electronics devices industries. And their business documents are different each other. ■Solution: Plural order’s business documents will be converted to a single major business document (e.g. ECALGA (JEITA), UBL) at the sales receiving EDI function. It is desirable that the conversion software would be developed and provided by some standard bodies . e.g. government, ECOM, JEITA. Industries Automotive Iron and Steel Petro-chemical Communication Business Documents Proprietary Iron and Steel JPCA EIAJ Sales received BP Conversion ⇒ECALGA,UBL EDI function JEMIMA indutry Sales System Purchasing System Purchase EIAJ Electronics Devices Industry

  16. Sales system in Electronics devices supplier. • ■Situation and issues: • Electronics devices supplier receives orders by several different business documents and they are troublesome to handle. • Electronics devices supplier receives EDIFACT by overseas electronics vendors. Domestic Electronics Vendors A B C Order (EIAJ) Order (Proprietary) Order (RosettaNet) Electronics Devices Supplier Overseas Electronics Vendors Backend System BP Conversion O Order (UN/EDIFACT) EIAJ Subsidiary Companies X Y

  17. Planning next generation EDI system of Petro-Chemical Industry • ■Next generation EDI system: • Trading company or major chemistry vendor is planning to conversion system. • Chem-eStandard business document will be converted to JPCA-BP at the major chemistry vendor’s front-end system. The sales system will be managed by using single JPCA-BP business document. Electronics Devices Supplier Second Trading Company Order (EIAJ) Order (Chem-eStandard) Trading Company A B JPCA-BP Chem-eStandard BP Conversion Chem-eStandard⇒JPCA-BP Major Chemistry Vendor JPCA-BP Business Document Backend System

  18. Mapping trials between UBL and major industry’s business documents in Japan. • ■ Objective: • To research whether UBL is interoperable with major business documents in Japan or not. • To research whether UBL is operable in Japanese industries. • To study and evaluate UBL. • ■ Targeted standard business documents: • (1) ECALGA Order • ECALGA (Electronic Commerce ALliance for Global business Activity) is a next generation EDI standard developed by JEITA (Japan Electronics and Information Technology Association). • ECALGA is the succeeding standard of EIAJ, which is very popular in Japan. • ECALGA is based on ebXML BP, CPPA, and MS. • (2) JEDICOS-XML Order • - JEDICOS-XML is a recently developed XML based standard business documents for the distribution industry developed by Distribution Systems Research Institute.

  19. Mapping methods (1/2) • ■ Targeted business document: • - We selected a business document ‘Order’ at first. • ■ Understanding UBL Order: • We used the spread sheet of UBL Order V1.0. • We made a single UBL Order spread sheet by integrating both UBL Order 1.0-beta.xls and UBL Reusable 1.0-beta.xls. The number of ABIE, BBIE, and ASBIE of the single UBL Order spread sheet is 384. • We made Japanese business terms for all BIEs of UBL Order. These Japanese business terms are not merely translation of names of UBL BIEs, but the Japanese business terms are made by using current business terms which are used in many business documents in Japan. • ■ Understanding the structure of the business document ‘Order’. • We made a single UBL Order class diagram in one document (MS Word). • Also, we made a single Order class diagram for ECALGA Order and JEDICOS XML Order.

  20. Mapping methods (2/2) • ■ Mapping BIEs between UBL and ECALGA, JEDICOS XML: • We made mapping spread sheets. • ■Example of mapping chart between UBL and ECALGA. ECALGA Order UBL Order Mapping Data with UBL Header Body

  21. Consideration of interoperability by mapping trials • ■ UBL and ECALGA: • The number of BIEs of ECALGA Order is 101. • The structure of ECALGA Order is one item per one document. This is not match to UBL Order (the structure of UBL Order is multiple items per one document.). • The BIEs of ECALGA Order is generally match to BIEs of UBL. Especially, necessary BIEs of ECALGA are including in UBL Order. • ■ UBL and JEDICOS-XML • The number of BIEs of JEDICOS-XML Order is 112. • The structure of JEDICOS-XML Order is multiple items per one document. This is match to UBL Order (the structure of UBL Order is multiple items per one document.). • The abundant BIEs of UBL include BIEs of JEDICOS-XML. Therefore, if the indutry select commonly used BIEs from UBL, interoperability between UBL and JEDICOS-XML will be possible.

  22. General Consideration of UBL gotten by mapping trials. • The necessary BIEs for sales in Japan are provided by UBL business document. UBL business documents are useable in Japanese industries. • The UBL BIEs are abundant. UBL BIEs include some BIEs that are not used in the trading business in Japan. Some BIEs of UBL are capable to be defined by the trading partner agreement. The industry or companies are able to adopt UBL by selecting necessary BIEs from UBL standards. • Plural items are capable to be defined per one document. • Separate delivery (e.g. deferent schedule) can be defined. Also, delivery methods are able to be defined by items. • Plural delivery place are capable to be defined for general purpose and per items. • Both base price and total amount can be defined. • UBL TC prepared the seven business documents that are expected to be used high frequently. The minimum trading business can be done in industries with these business documents.

  23. Proposals regarding marketing to promote UBL deployment in the world • ■Publication of Introduction guide book of UBL. For examples are follows. • Position of UBL • e.g. UBL is supported by both OASIS and UN/CEFACT. UBL is fully based on ebXML CCTS. UBL is applicable for purchasing of not only MRO but also direct materials • Introduction methods of UBL to industries • e.g. (1) Industry organization develop their business document by subsetting the UBL schemas. (2) They will build new documents, using the standard components from the UBL standard abundant libraries. (3) They will use the UBL as a common business document between industries. • Easy understanding description of UBL standard business documents • e.g. Class diagrams of business documents by single document. • Recommendable conversion methods and systems between UBL and other standard business documents. • ■Publication of deployment cases of UBL • e.g. The e procurement system by Danish government.

  24. Next steps at ECOM (1/2) • ■ Activities regarding EDI which were done at ECOM in fiscal 2003 • (1) Survey of EC in SME domain • ECOM has researched survey regarding Electronic Commerce including EDI in SME domain. The scale of investigation is 5,000 SME companies by the questionnaire method. • SME companies are introducing EC systems recently. • They are suffering from non-standardized multiple business documents. • And they don’t have sufficient EC promoting resources (e.g. engineers and budget). • (2) Proposals for the recommendable next generation EDI system not only for big enterprises but also for SMEs. • To develop standard EDI client system including messaging function and business document processing function. • The messaging function had better to be based on ebXML MS specification. • To develop common and interoperable Hub service to exchange EDI data. • This system will adopt commonly useable business document. The big candidate are UBL and ECALGA.

  25. Next steps at ECOM (2/2) ■ A consortium named ‘Common XML/EDI practical use promotion consortium’ will be established since May, 2004, to develop next generation EDI system ,based on ECOM’s proposal, supported by government. • ■ Planning activities regarding EDI at ECOM in fiscal 2004 • (1) Detailed design of the proposal of next generation EDI system • EDI messaging function. • EDI business document processing function. • EDI ASP service. • (2) Research the recommendable business document for SME. • To research currently used business documents by major buyers in real business. • To estimate what is desirable business document or some requirements. e.g. UBL, ECALGA, JEDICOS-XML. • (3) Promotion of development of the standard business document conversion system.

  26. Reference documents • Individual documents • Answers to questions about standard business document and conversion method. (Overseas companies, English) • UBL Order BIE spread sheet with Japanese business terms. (MS Excel) • UBL Order class diagram. (MS Word, English) • Mapping spread sheet between UBL and ECALGA. • Mapping spread sheet between UBL and JEDICOS-XML. • (2) Total report of activities at ECOM • Standard business document conversion methods research report. (83 pages, published by ECOM on March 2004, Japanese language) • Current situation of Internet EDI and proposal to promote EDI in Japan (123 pages, published by ECOM on March 2004, Japanese language)